Mohamed Salah’s wonder-strike helped Liverpool beat Chelsea 2-0 and ensured they remain two points clear of Manchester City at the top of the Premier League.
Almost five years since Liverpool’s title chances were ruined by a 2-0 defeat in the same fixture, the hosts kept themselves in the hunt for a first league title in 29 years with two goals in the space of two minutes that saw Anfield erupt.
After a nervy first half in which both sides had chances, Liverpool emerged from the break with added purpose and took the lead via Sadio Mane’s header.
There was a huge sense of relief inside the ground, but that became a deafening roar when Salah smashed a left-footed angled drive into the top right corner from 25 yards for his 19th Premier League goal of the season.
Chelsea, who had been unbeaten at Anfield since 2012, almost hit back six minutes later when Eden Hazard shot against the post before the Belgian saw another effort saved by goalkeeper Alisson.
But Liverpool could have extended their lead before an exultant Kop greeted the final whistle with roars of delight and Jurgen Klopp punched the air after his 200th game in charge.
Manchester City, 3-1 winners at Crystal Palace in Sunday’s other match, still have a game in hand on the Reds, but with games at home to Tottenham and away to Manchester United among their five remaining fixtures, their task looks tougher than the one facing Liverpool, who meet Cardiff, Huddersfield, Newcastle and Wolves.
Chelsea remain fourth, a point behind Tottenham, who have a game in hand on their London rivals. Maurizio Sarri’s side could also be overtaken by sixth-placed Arsenal, who are three points behind them, when they face Watford on Monday.
Chelsea’s poor run at the big six continues – the stats
- Liverpool registered only their third win over Chelsea in their past 17 meetings in all competitions (W3 D8 L6) and their first at Anfield since a 4-1 win in the Premier League in May 2012.
- Chelsea have lost their past six away Premier League matches against fellow ‘big six’ opponents, conceding 16 goals across those defeats.
- This was Liverpool’s 26th Premier League victory of the season, equalling their record from the 2013-14 campaign under Brendan Rodgers. They last won more in a top-flight season in 1978-79 (30 wins).
- Sadio Mane has scored 21 goals in all competitions this season – his best tally in a season for an English side.
- Mohamed Salah’s goal was his first from outside the box in the Premier League since scoring against Manchester City in January 2018.
- This was Jurgen Klopp’s 200th match in charge of Liverpool in all competitions (W112 D52 L36).
- Aged 18 years and 158 days, Callum Hudson-Odoi became the youngest Chelsea player to start three consecutive Premier League games.
- Since the start of last season, Liverpool’s Salah has scored more goals in all competitions than any other Premier League player (66).
Liverpool take a 2-0 lead to Portugal for the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final against Porto on Wednesday before a trip to Cardiff in the Premier League on Sunday, 21 April.
Chelsea are also in European action against Slavia Prague in the Europa League quarter-final second leg at Stamford Bridge on Thursday, before hosting Burnley back in the league on Monday, 22 April.